Vegetable Stew over Creamy Polenta

In an effort to save time during our meal prep I chopped the carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms the night before we made this and kept them in a large bowl in the fridge. All of the vegetables cook down into the stew and adding them all at the same time saved me prep time and didn't alter the finished dish. I tend to put together a soup or pasta for the holiday main course so this was a nice change of pace. The red wine in the stew helps tie this recipe together with the appetizer and the stewed vegetables offer a nice contrast to the roasted brussels sprouts in the side dish. Polenta is a tricky food for leftovers because it never reaches the same smooth consistency again but I enjoyed this dish so much that I took all of the leftovers in my lunch. This is a recipe I will likely be making again.

Pair with: Red Wine Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese TartsChristmas Citrus Cocktail, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Orange Zest

Recipe slightly adapted from The Cook Report.


-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 onion, chopped
-3 carrots, chopped
-1 zucchini, chopped
-2 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 sprigs thyme
-Salt and pepper
-1 14oz can diced tomatoes
-3/4 cup red wine
-Parmesan to serve
-1 cup cornmeal
-2 cups 1% milk
-2 cups vegetable broth
-1 3/4 ounces white cheddar grated
-2 tablespoons butter

Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium high heat, then add the onion and a dash of salt and pepper and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic, then after ninety seconds, add the carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook for another ten minutes, stirring frequently. Chop the leaves of the thyme sprigs, and put them in the pot along with the can of diced tomatoes and red wine. Bring to a simmer, then let cook for another 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the polenta, in a separate sauce pot bring the milk and vegetable broth to a boil, being careful that it doesn't boil over. Pour in the cornmeal and a pinch of salt and pepper and lower the heat, whisking constantly until the polenta thickens. Add the butter to the polenta, and gradually mix in the cheddar cheese. Serve polenta topped with the vegetable stew, and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.


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